10 kitchen details I’m totally in love with

Wednesday’s are a day for me where I get to have a bit of “me time” in the afternoon. My little one is at daycare, I’ve completed my work and all my chores are (ideally) done. It’s the one time of the week I carve out for me and most often, I find myself on here blogging or lusting my time away on Pinterest. With that in mind I thought I’d start sharing what I’ve been crushing on of late… First up – Kitchens!

1. Midnight blue kitchen islands

2. Encaustic floor tiles

3. Free standing ovens

4. Brass hardware

5. Apron sinks

7. Geometric tiles

8. Symmetry

9. A walk in pantry with French doors

10. Glass pendant light features

While I wouldn’t necessarily put all of the details in the one kitchen, a few of them would be nice! What are some of your dream kitchen details?

Statement Ceilings

Yesterday I was chatting with a painter who came out to give us a quote on repainting the exterior of our home. We were looking at the ceiling in our carport and he mentioned something that really hit home with me – Ceilings – they are one surface in a home that is often overlooked or only ever looked at when given a fresh coat of white paint. But why is this?

Historically ceilings have been made beautiful with ornate ceiling roses or gorgeous chunky beams have been exposed, but come recent times the trend has been to leave them simple and white. Coloured paint, patterns or wallpaper are rarely though of as finishes for ceilings but lately, I’ve been starting to see a change in the water and I’m really liking it. Take a look at some of the examples below and read for a a few tips of how to nail this look in your home (or office)…

Go bold and go gold – I love the boldness of this gold ceiling, but what I love even more is how the metallic finish reflects so much light into the room. Tying in with the gold detail on the sofa and frame on the wall, the gold here works perfectly and gives the room an opulent feel. 

Pattern perfect – There are two reasons why this ceiling works here, the pattern is large and the rest of the space has been kept relatively simple. If you’re going to go with a patterned ceiling these are important things to keep in mind as a space could quickly end up looking very busy and disorientated.  

Extend the eyes – On a wall this pattern would quite possibly drive me crazy, but on the ceiling it works and it not only works, but it also highlights the recessed detail of the ceiling in the most beautiful way. Again, by keeping the rest of the room simple the ceiling can stand out as a feature. 

Create an illusion – By bringing the paint down the wall a little way, it gives the illusion that the walls are blending into the ceiling, making the ceiling height feel higher than what it really is. A very clever trick of the eye! 

Some of these have seriously got me thinking and I hope they inspired you as much as they did me… What do you think? Would you be bold enough to do a statement ceiling? 

Add a touch of luxe

For the longest time in home design, velvet has been synonymous with luxury and opulence. Typically it is has been a fabric that was only available in limited colours would be hard to clean and keep looking at its best and so, was mostly reserved for formal settings.

With advances in fabric technology, today’s velvet changes all that and is gaining some serious momentum & popularity. Modern velvets are a sinch to keep clean, are available in any colour of the rainbow and add a touch of glorious luxe to almost any interior space… it’s little wonder why people are quickly jumping on the bandwagon!

If you’ve been unsure about adding some velvet into your home, I thought I’d share a few tips for how you can do this, from simply adding small touches to going all out with key pieces of furniture…

Go small – If you’re not bold enough to invest in a large piece of furniture, cushions or a footstool are an excellent place to start. Velvet cushions on a linen couch give a stunning contrast and will give a subtle elegance to casual living rooms. Adding in a footstool (bonus points if it has a metal or marble base) will make a space exude class and simplicity.

Get cosy – Occasional chairs are also a great places to start. The first piece of velvet in home happened to be an arm chair for my daughters nursery and I have to say through all those midnight feeds while she was a new born, it was the comfiest and my most favourite place to be. Velvet not only looks elegant and luxurious, but is also one of the cosiest fabrics to curl up on during the cooler months.

Go Bold – Having a sofa or bedhead in velvet is a bold move, but one I’m sure you wouldn’t regret. Choose an opulent jewel tone such a sapphire blue, emerald green or a deep violet for a dramatic look. Velvet looks stunning on almost any shape or size furniture, enhancing curves in traditional pieces and adding a touch of sleek on ultra modern shapes.

Contrast it – Contrasting velvet with rustic timbers or casual cane furniture juxtaposes the two materials in a most fabulous way. The velvet adding elegance and grace to more casual and relaxed pieces. Using this combo in a dining room is a perfect example as shown in the above image by interior designer Nate Berkus.

Mix up your textures – Just like contrasting velvet with one material will add dynamic to your room, adding in a few more will enhance it even further. Mix up velvet with jute, leather, linens, faux furs and more for a beautifully layered look. Done in neutrals or with splashes of gorgeous colour this look will give your space a dynamic, elegant and pulled – together look thats both comfortable and cosy.

Terracotta & Teal

As we make our way into cooler weather, I’ve been garnering more and more inspiration from earthy tones, natural textures and cosy accents. Blush pink has been reigning in the interiors realm for quite some time now, and will always hold a special place in many hearts but as the seasons turn I can’t help but be inspired by by deeper pinks, warmer reds and earthy terracotta tones. For years, the idea of using terracotta in an interior scheme hasn’t even crossed my mind, but lately, I’m finding myself quite inspired by this earthy hue. Today I thought I’d share my take on an interior scheme using terracotta – read on to check it out!

Artwork, Cream Cushion, Blue Cushion, Birds of Paradise Cushion, Pendant light, Throw, Table lamp, Aztec Cushion, Coffee table, Sofa, Arm Chair, Ottoman, Rug

Ikea Duktig Kitchen Hack

Okay… back story! This post was meant to be published at the start of the year, but way back before that was when I originally snagged this 2nd hand IKEA Duktig kitchen off Gumtree for a steal! It was almost in too good a condition to hack up, but I did it and I’m ever so glad I did! I had been gawking at Duktig makeovers on Pinterest for months, getting ideas here and there but really had my very own little plan right from the beginning. I hacked this one way back in August/September last year (!!), but intentionally held off sharing anything as it was kept hidden for her Christmas gift. Thankfully, I wrote up the whole tutorial while I was renovating so today I can share it all with you… better late than never, right??

Call me crazy, but I wanted to create a mini version of our own kitchen, and thankfully we had just the right supplies left over from our renovations to do just that. I used the same spray paint as our cupboards and we had some handles left over, which amazingly fit the holes of the Duktig kitchen perfectly. The bench top was a little trickier and this is where we had to compromise, as it was either a beige vinyl tile (that looked like it was from the 1990’s) or a calacatta marble vinyl contact paper. After trying the tile and dying a little inside, the marble won out.

Here’s a list of what I used…

I started out by taking off all three doors, removing the sink and mixer tap, and completely removing the top section of the kitchen. I masked up the windows of the oven and microwave door so when they were sprayed the plastic would stay clear. Everywhere was given a light sand to remove any grime and then a good clean. Then I sprayed… and sprayed… and sprayed!

Every where was given at least two coats of paint. First up was a white coat over the whole kitchen and the door that sits below the sink. The oven and microwave door were sprayed with silver to make them stand out as appliances.

Next, it was time for the splash back. I used a 3mm piece of MDF board, sprayed with gloss blue and sanded back with 320 grit paper between coats – until I had a beautiful glossy finish. Then it was cut to size and using the white paint pen and a ruler, I drew on the subway tile pattern. Finially it was attached to the top part of the kitchen with some glue & nails.

Once everything was dry the vinyl tiles were cut to size and stuck down…. I immediately started wishing I hadn’t used them. So it was off to the shops for my roll of marble adhesive which was stuck down in place of the tiles… The rounded corners were a little tricky as I wanted the marble to wrap around the bench top, but we got there in the end and it looks a million times better than the previous option!

Finally I could put everything back together. Adding new handles to the doors, attaching the hook to the side and screwing on the knobs above the oven door were the final touches! This little kitchen has been a huge hit with Summer, she’s currently going through a “copy mummy” stage and absolutely adores her mini version of our kitchen! 

Tips for choosing paint colours

Everyone has their happy place, a place where you can zen out and time just disappears before you. For me, this happy place is when I’m painting a new room… everything from choosing colours, prepping, painting, restyling and then sitting back to enjoy my handy work is so satisfying. I just love how a new coat of paint can totally transform a room. That being said, there are a few things to consider when repainting your home or a room and today I thought I’d share some of my most trusted tips. 

Get inspired: Although, if you’re already thinking about painting, you may well already BE inspired! I find it always helps to do some research on Pinterest or other design blogs to  gather more ideas or see how different colours work in different rooms. We’re so lucky to live in a day an age where inspiration is just a click away! 

Create a mood board: (my favourite part) Be it virtual or with photos from magazines, pull together some images of items you have in your room already. The flooring colour, the view, pieces of furniture, cushions, rugs and artwork. They don’t have to be the exact items, but I’d recommend sourcing items that are as similar in colour as possible. 

Consider your lighting & space: Rooms that are lucky enough to have a lot of natural light will take to colours differently to rooms that don’t and likewise, Incandescent lighting brings out warm tones while fluorescent lighting brings out the blues. 

Get swatches, but don’t rely on them: Ever go to the paint shop, pick up a few samples only to come home and find none of them are any good? Make sure you pick up ALL the samples in your colour range. Lighting in a hardware store compared to lighting in your home can be vastly different and what you think may be completely off in store, could be just perfect when you see it at home. Add them into your mood board to get a bit of an idea of what could work well with what you already have and stick them up on the wall to see how the colour plays out at different times of the day. 

Sample and Test: Time and time again, this has proven to be the most important step for us! Once you’ve narrowed your swatches down to 3-5 possible options, get sample pots of these. Paint them onto a sheet of white A1 card and tape them on to your walls. Over the course of a few days, you should be able to see the effect of sunlight and artificial light on the colours. I say this one is the most important step, because often the swatch and the actual paint colour can be a little different and that small difference on a 2x4cm card can make all the difference once painted on the walls!

Have you ever repainted the walls in your home? I hope these tips have helped you! 

Made in Mosman

Oh Mosman, how I covet you, with your federation style homes, stunning views and beautiful harbour beaches. Taking a stroll through your leafy streets and dreaming of how the other side live really is something I have to limit myself from doing, because you’re just too gorgeous! 

I remember while I was studying interiors at college, one of our subjects was federation homes and (lucky us) our lecturer invited us to her federation style home in Mosman to do a study on some of the details. I was gobsmacked! Her home, the detail and they style that went along with it was like nothing I’d ever seen before, and so my love affair with the federation style homes of Mosman began. 

Thanks to heritage listings, many of the homes have maintained their original charm. Stain glass windows, hand carved staircases, high ceilings with intricate trim or ceiling roses are all features that give these homes their old school charm that sadly, just isn’t used anymore! Take a look at the below home to check out just a few of these gorgeous details.. 

Organising a pantry

A few weeks ago one of my gorgeous besties asked if I could help organise her pantry and while I’ll admit it’s completely dorky,  I totally jumped at the opportunity! We have been friends since way back in high school and being asked to organise her pantry was a complete honour and surprise, because – I’ll let you in on another little secret here – this best friend of mine is a chef AND expecting a baby in the very near future! So to say she needed help, is an understatement! 

I wasted very little time in getting over to her place, we sussed it all out and then hit the shops for some new containers. Back home we cleared out her pantry and I went through everything with her figuring out what she uses most often (to keep at an easy to reach height) and what is used less frequently (that could be stored at the bottom or top of her pantry). Then we got to organising! 

As I mentioned above, I chatted with my friend through most of the process figuring out what she uses most and what would be best to keep at an easily reachable height. There’s no point organising a pantry just for good looks, it needs to be functional too and the most important function is access! At home, I couldn’t count how many times I’ve reorganised our own pantry (as our needs have changed), and each and every time it gets a little more refined and more practical BUT what may be practical for me, may not be ideal for you! So we chatted and worked things around what would be best for now. Trying to keep the bulky items that aren’t used as much at the very bottom and the smaller items that aren’t used so much at the top (again for access and safety – no one wants to be lifting a 4kg bottle of oil down from above their head!). By lunchtime, we ended up with a finished pantry, a mum-to-be that was ready for a nap and a nerd that was feeling very fulfilled! Check out the pics below to have a peek inside a chef’s pantry and to see how we organised this space for her needs…. 

5 Tips for choosing Sofas

To me, buying a new sofa is more exciting (and a bigger deal) than buying a new car, and while they may not cost quite as much as a new car, new sofas can still cost a pretty penny! So today I thought I’d share a few tips to consider for the next time you’re on the hunt! 

1. What are you using the sofa for? Is it for lounging around watching TV, or will it be more of a formal setting? While comfort is important for both, consider things like how you watch TV. If you love lounging with your feet up, something with a chaise or ottoman may be a better suited than a firmer or more upright style. 

2. What’s underneath? Metal, hardwood and pine frames are all options these days. Ask questions about the construction of your sofa. A hardwood frame will last longer than pine and with good-quality frames, the joints are glued, dowelled and screwed.

Likewise feather, foam, cushions and springs are all important elements that will impact the overall comfort, support and durability. This one is a matter of personal preference though, so the best advice that can be given is to go try them out! Take everyone who will be sitting on the sofa (regularly) to try out different options and find a happy medium. But…. Keep in mind that showroom models will have been sat on dozens of times so it’s likely that when you get your new sofa home it may be a little firmer to begin with! 

3. Fabric or Leather? Both have their benefits, and if you’re already a lover of one it’ll be quite hard to convince you on the other. Leather is generally hardier and can last longer, but will require maintenance and doesn’t like sharp claws or buckles. Fabric, on the other hand, is cooler in summer & warmer in winter, but is more susceptible to stains (make sure you get it scotch guarded).

4. Consider your space! An oversized sofa in a small room can look quite ridiculous, likewise a tiny sofa in a big room can end up looking lost. Consider whether a modular sofa or a couple of standard sofas would be a better fit for your space.  Also, keep in mind that chunky arms will take up valuable seat space if your room is on the smaller side and you’re trying to fit in as many seats as possible.

Also in this camp is one of the most important most but often forgotten space related elements – access! While I was working in a furniture store, I can’t tell you how times people were convinced their sofa would fit up the stairs to their level three apartment, only to find it was too big to get around staircase corners or in the lift! Even getting down the side of a house can be tricky with bulky furniture, and unlike dining tables, it’s not ideal to disassemble a sofa! 

5. You get what you pay for: Sofas can range in price from a couple of hundred dollars to tens of thousands (for custom or bespoke models). So if it’s a sofa you intend on enjoying for many years to come, go for the best quality you can afford! Wait for sales if need be – a great sofa on special will generally outlast a cheaper model.

Above all else, make sure when buying a sofa you buy something that you are absolutely in love with and it will always be the most comfortable seat in the house! 

What do you look out for when choosing a sofa? Let me know in the comments! 

Liv xx 

My fave insta accounts

Today I wanted to share about where I get some of my best inspiration from! There are three things that always make me feel inspired – the beach, exploring new places and scrolling through Instagram! While I absolutely love Pinterest too, I find myself scrolling Instagram a lot more simply because it has a more personal touch. It’s not just the pictures that inspire me but the words too, I love getting to know who I’m following and seeing little insights into their life. So, without further ado here are a few of my fave accounts! 

1. mscraftberrybush – Bright, airy and a cutie-patootie pup! 

2. mytexashouse – I’ve only been following this account for a short time but it has quickly become a hot fave! Erin shares snaps of her home in Texas and boy-oh-boy does it get me dreaming! 

3. Houseofharvee Interiors and kidlets with a healthy dose of blush pink…. need I say more?

4. Beckiowens – Is a seriously talented interior designer based in California who is always sharing the most gorgeous snaps! I always get so inspired by her posts AND she was one of the reasons I wanted to get back into this blog and design world! #girlcrush 

5. RevieJane is my absolute fave mum to follow! With a focus on fitness and keeping it real she is the most down to earth ‘grammer I’ve ever followed! So much love for this girl boss! 

6. rachparcell out of everyone I’ve shared today Rach is probably the most well known. With an insane blog (check it out here) gorgeous fashion line, the most beautiful house I ever did see AND the two cutest little kiddos, I always get a lot of joy and inspiration from her posts! 

Who are your favourite people to follow on Instagram? Let me know in the comments! 

Liv xx